City of Galveston v. Smith

Citation15 S.W. 589
Decision Date27 February 1891
CourtTexas Supreme Court

S. W. Jones, for appellant. S. S. Hanscom, for appellee.


This suit was brought by the appellee to recover damages for personal injuries sustained by her caused by a defective covering of a culvert. Upon the verdict of a jury judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiff for $600. Appellant contends that the court erred in refusing to give, at its request, the following charge: "Notwithstanding the jury may believe from the evidence that the covering to the drain on which the plaintiff is alleged to have been injured had a loose plank thereon, and was, by reason thereof, defective, and that the injury to the plaintiff was the result of such defect, yet these facts alone would not be sufficient evidence of negligence on the part of the defendant. In order to charge the defendant with negligence, it must appear from the evidence, not only that the said covering to the drain was defective at the time of the alleged injury, but also either that such defect was actually known to the defendant, through some of its officers or servants having charge of such matters, or that the defect had existed for such a length of time prior to the alleged injury that the city authorities, if exercising ordinary diligence, would or should have known of its existence." We think that the propositions contained in the requested charge are correct when applied to suits against municipal corporations for damages. This court said in the case of the City of Galveston v. Barbour, 62 Tex. 176: "In cases of this character, to render a municipal corporation liable, there should be evidence showing that it had notice of such defect as caused the injury; for it cannot be presumed that notice of every trifling defect exists." 2 Dill. Mun. Corp. §§ 1024, 1025; City of Chicago v. McCarthy, 75 Ill. 602. The supreme court of Michigan in the case of Dewey v. City of Detroit, 15 Mich. 313, say: "That minute daily inspection which is possible and necessary on a line of railroad, where a small break may endanger hundreds of lives, would be absurd and impracticable in relation to sidewalks. A city, responsible as it must be only for the neglect incumbent on its agents, cannot be distinguished in its liabilities from individuals who might be intrusted with the same kind of duties. In this case the commissioner may be fairly regarded as representing the...

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9 cases
  • King v. City of Beaumont
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Texas
    • January 12, 1924
    ... ... Gordon, ... Lawhon, Davidson & Pool, of Beaumont, Tex., for defendants ... Block and Block Realty Co ... Smith & ... Jackson, of Beaumont, Tex., for defendant city of Beaumont ... Nelson ... Phillips and C. M. Means, of Dallas, Tex., for defendant ... the accident resulted from negligence. Austin v ... Ritz, 72 Tex. 391, 9 S.W. 884; City of Galveston v ... Smith, 80 Tex. 69, 15 S.W. 589 ... In the ... original petition, as I have previously indicated, there are ... no allegations ... ...
  • Lone Star Gas Co. v. Ballard
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • March 1, 1940
    ...applied to municipalities and the same rule is applicable to public service corporations. 30 Tex.Jur., § 292, p. 529; City of Galveston v. Smith, 80 Tex. 69, 15 S.W. 589; Klein v. City Dallas, 71 Tex. 280, 8 S.W. 90; City of Austin v. Ritz, 72 Tex. 391, 9 S.W. 884; City of Fort Worth v. Joh......
  • City of San Antonio v. Esquivel
    • United States
    • Texas Supreme Court
    • February 7, 1962
    ...It is not known what the defect was nor how long it had existed. In apt language, the law in this respect is stated in City of Galveston v. Smith, 80 Tex. 69, 15 S.W. 589: '* * * In order to charge the defendant (City) with negligence, it must appear from the evidence, not only that the sai......
  • City of Waco v. Ballard
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • November 15, 1922
    ...streets or sidewalks, unless it has actual or constructive notice of the defect. City of Austin v. Ritz, supra; City of Galveston v. Smith, 80 Tex. 69, 15 S. W. 589; City of Sherman v. Greening (Tex. Civ. App.) 73 S. W. 424; City of Houston v. Vatter, 32 Tex. Civ. App. 298, 74 S. W. 806; Ci......
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